About this Blog

Photo Writing is the web version of the Photo Writing mini-magazine produced by Limephoto and Emil von Maltitz since 2010. As of 2015 it is now completely online. Feel free to browse through the articles and please leave comments in the comments section if you would like to engage with us.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Orphus, the Greek God of testicles...ummmm

Not really, but this is what one of this month’s students explained, the orchid was named after. This is one of the things I love about teaching photography through workshops. The extremely diverse range of people that I meet enriches not only my time as a teacher, but actually improves my photography as well. There’s nothing like being stimulated by photographers who have only just discovered the joys of this incredible pastime...hobby...calling...vocation – whatever it happens to be for them. And of course there are always bags of humour to temper the intensive learning atmosphere that often characterizes a photography workshop.

As is usual at the beginning of each month, I shot up to St Lucia to do a beginners digital photography workshop for African Impact. The photographers are usually from outside of South Africa, and once more I found myself surrounded by a veritable security council of photogs – Israel, Germany, Britain, France and even my first student from Malaysia (thanks to all for yet another fantastic week of photography).

Unseasonal weather this month followed by a day long power outage (right during the post-processing portion of the course) kept the photographers on their toes. Although longs spells of rain dampened some of the photography, clouds meant for some fantastic cloudscapes and golden light in the early and late hours of the days. As per usual, my feeling that horrible weather has what one might call a photographic silver lining rang tue.

Something that I noted though, was the lack of tripods. This seems to always be an issue, so I am taking it upon myself to start a campaign in aid of our three-legged assistants. If you are reading this and have already received ‘Photo-Writing’ Newsletter then you are forgiven and are already on your way to tripod enlightenment. If you haven’t please subscribe on my website and I’ll send you the first section of a multi-segment piece on choosing a tripod (eventually I’ll post it as a full article on the website).

The point being here is that not enough photographers use their tripods, or worse, don’t even own one. Almost as bad, they might have one in their possession but it happens to be the type that gets given away in Christmas crackers (the photographic variety ;-) ). If I look at my successful stock photographs, the ones that put food in the pot, about 60-65% percent of them have been taken with the use of a tripod. In my opinion this should be one of the first steps toward improving one’s photography, getting the support necessary for your camera.

Back to the workshop – my little diatribe on tripods obviously rang a bell as this month’s St Lucia photographers ran scurrying for tripods (some are fedexing them from home). Considering the material that presents itself to be photographed these are just about essential. The campaign has begun...today St Lucia, tomorrow the world.

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